Mo Willems Launches Production Company to Leverage IP From Best-Selling Children’s Books
Mo Willems is stepping further into the multimedia entertainment world.
The globally best-selling and award-winning children’s book author will team with Stampede Ventures and RedBird Capital to form Hidden Pigeon Company. HPC will be a multiplatform kids and family content company which will use Willems’ catalog of books and IP for film, television, digital media, gaming, live events, location-based experiences, publishing, merchandising and more.
“The Hidden Pigeon Company takes its name from how kids and former kids delight in finding The Pigeon hidden in every one of my books,” Willems said. “It is my hope to create a similar bit of surprise and delight in the fabric of everything we make or do. I am thrilled to have found wonderful collaborative partners to make that hope a reality.”
This follows Willems’ existing producing partnership with Stampede Ventures, including two HBO Max specials “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience” and “Storytime All-Stars Presents: Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime.” The latter was nominated for two daytime Emmys.
SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director Expresses Solidarity With WGA: ‘Actors Are Facing the Same Problem’
HPC will be led by CEO Kathy Franklin, who joins HPC from Lightstorm Entertainment, for which she served as president of franchise development for nearly 12 years.
HPC will also house a new publishing imprint called Specific House, which has partnered with publisher Union Square & Co. to launch Willems’ adult humor book, “Be the Bus – The Lost & Profound Wisdom of The Pigeon” and “The Pigeon Will Ride the Rollercoaster!” The upcoming “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Sleigh!” will be The Pigeon’s first-ever holiday book.
Willems is repped by his long-term literary agent, Marcia Wernick at Wernick & Pratt Agency, LLC.
“We’ve deeply enjoyed the success of our partnership with Mo and Cher Willems to date, and it’s shown us that the popularity of his IP and the appetite for premium family entertainment are a powerful combination,” said Stampede Ventures’ CEO and founder Greg Silverman.
Disney Animation Immersive Experience to Land in Los Angeles
“The launch of Hidden Pigeon Company with RedBird is our opportunity to bring the full range of Mo’s creative genius into one entity crafted to expand the impact of his work. RedBird’s extensive experience will be critical in HPC’s long-term success, and we are thrilled to have their support and partnership,” Stampede Ventures president Chris Bosco said.
RedBird Capital founder and managing partner Gerry Cardinale said: “Working with creative entrepreneurs like Mo is at the core of our investing strategy. The creation of HPC is consistent with RedBird’s broader media investment thesis of acquiring best-in-class IP and scaling its scope of impact and commercialization. Our goal is to help this new company and partnership transform the traditional kids and family entertainment landscape and the way audiences experience Mo’s stories.”
Mo Willems is best known for a 25-book series of early childhood-targeted romps featuring Elephant and Piggie. Willems has been awarded three Caldecott Honors and was the inaugural Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence (2019-2022). He continues to collaborate in classical music, opera, comedy concerts, dance, and digital works with the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera, Ben Folds, Renée Fleming, and others. Mo began his career as a writer and animator on PBS’ Sesame Street, garnering six Emmy Awards.
CBS to Launch Justin Hartley’s ‘Tracker’ With Super Bowl Lead-In